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If you think everything is just today, think again.

A few months ago, the


fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager, by a police officer, proved
that there are still many concerns regarding racial discrimination. The
incident undeniably raised a lot of questions about the rights of police
officers that let them kill someone so easily. For the days after the killing,
riots broke out throughout the city of Ferguson, where the tragedy happened,
and protestors flooded the streets to make their voices heard against the
totally unjust action of the police officer. Rioters even looted public stores.
There were different responses to these actions. Some people supported
them and even believed that what was done was not enough, and some
criticized the actions by referring to their damage on society and economy. If
a community is seeking a long-term reform, it should pursue peaceful and
nonviolent methods. Looting, killing and violent behavior in general, will drop
a bombshell around the world, but will only have a temporary impact on the
conditions that the extremists are aiming to change. Because violence is
reciprocal. Aggressive behavior gives the police force an excuse to be
aggressive as well; therefore, the war will go on forever.
Martin Luther King believed that in any nonviolent campaign there are
four basic steps: collection of facts to determine whether injustices exist;
negotiation; self-purification and direct action. Negotiation is a key part of
accomplishing a goal, and refusing to talk with the leaders can be chaotic.
African-American people, throughout the history, have been deprived of their
very basic rights and the promises made during their negotiations were

never stood by. Being denied constantly left them no choice but to engage in
direct action. History has shown in order for the actions to be influential and
permanent, they should be peaceful and nonviolent. The reason behind it is
that violent behavior calls for violent behavior and legitimizes the reactions
by the dominant group.
Nonviolent protests should be continued and supported to the point
that a desirable result is achieved. As Robert Stephens thinks, protests
contribute to the increase of political consciousness and political action
brings unity among the people. We can clearly see the latter by looking at
Fergusons incident which gathered African-Americans from all over the State
to fight against the injustice done to their brother, Michael Brown. Fergusons
riots were condemned because protestors had a criminal mindset. They
came to the streets seeking revenge. Instead, they should have focused on a
justly prosecution, and a change in the way that police forces treat unarmed
individuals. After all, law enforcers are to provide and maintain security in a
community and not to cause panic and fear among people.
Malcolm X, One of the most prominent leaders in fighting against racial
discrimination, believed that violence is indeed needed to overthrow an
unjust government. He believed that if there is to be bleeding, it should be
reciprocal, bleeding on both sides. He goes on further by saying that the
black community is like a powder keg and is ready to explode if the white
leaders do not end their racist behaviors towards them. This situation is very
dangerous and as Fred Siegel points out in Ferguson fury: Activists,

journalists stuck in 1960s racial resentments, can have negative effects on


economy and society.
I personally believe that supporting or criticizing any kind of protest
depends on how we and how the dominating groups define violence. Protests
that are followed by deaths and have an adverse effect on humans lives are
definitely not tolerated, but there are certain conditions that the government
transgresses the basic human rights and does not appropriately respond to
protestors continuous attempts in regards to redressing injustice. In such
cases, the government considers civil disobedience and rightful protests
violent, which I think is not acceptable.